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For your consideration

March 17, 2013
By KELLY VAN DE WALLE (vandkel@hotmail.com) , Times-Republican

As of this writing the Catholic Church has selected a new Pope, Pope Francis. Before his tenure gets rolling I'd like the College of Cardinals to reconsider their 266th pontiff. (The platypus, manatee and Richard Simmons are proof enough God is whimsical. I'm sure he'd be down for a "Hey Francis! Siiiiike!")

I know there's one gentleman that looks great in white, enjoys smoke signals and helicopter rides: me.

OK, let's get this out of the way right now; while I'm not, technically, Catholic I have what many have said to be a "very Catholic face," which I think totally counts. I also radiate innocence and purity. I can't tell you how many times I've overheard the following conversations:

Admirer 1: "Look at that guy. I bet he's never had an impure thought in his life."

Admirer 2: "He's very regal."

Admirer 1: "As a child I imagine he put pants on his stuffed animals out of modesty."

Admirer 2: "He should be our Pope."

Admirer 1: "He totally should."

Sure, I may not have a lot of experience with Catholicism, but is that necessarily a BAD thing these days? Plus, I once took a class on the Middle East, so I'm clearly very worldly.

I know you might be asking yourselves "Isn't this guy too handsome for the papacy?" and "Do we want someone that smells like freshly-baked buttermilk biscuits and Tang to be representing us?" To the former, I say "Oh stop it you guys." Flattery doesn't affect me (I'm, like, the humblest guy you'll ever meet). To the latter, the answer is an enthusiastic "Si." That's Italian (note the "worldly" qualification above).

Of course, you might also be asking yourselves, "Why this guy?" and rightly so. Allow me to elaborate.

First of all, I'm very good at standing on balconies and being adored by masses. OK, while I don't have a LOT of experience with this at the professional level, when I pick up the morning newspaper off my stoop (which is essentially a lower balcony) in my wife's pink Snuggie the neighbors NOTICE. While I don't yet have my glasses on at that time, I can see them moving, which I interpret as cheering and then wave lethargically (very Pope-y). Of course, they are awfully blurry so they could just be bushes swaying in the breeze.

What other qualifications do I have, you ask? Well, I'm a white guy, which, judging by past history, is pretty important. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I DO listen to some hip-hop music when I work out, however I'd be open to filling it with pipe organ music and sounds of people kneeling on small thin benches.

Now, I don't want to compare myself to Jesus, but do you know the passage where Jesus expels the moneychangers from the Temple, accusing them of turning it into a den of thieves for their commercial activities? There was this one time a gentleman in Cancun tried charging me $100 for a parasailing ride when his sign SAID $75, so I pretty much know how Jesus felt.

Frankly, I'm a little concerned about this new Pope already. He could've chosen any name and he goes with "Francis?" That shows lack of foresight and I'm afraid of the hazing he's going to receive before being officially sworn in. It occurs to me that becoming Pope may not be the same as becoming a member of a fraternity (though they do parade you in front of a bunch of people dressed in a funny hat).

My first act as Pope would be to instruct the masses to refer to me as POPEye and eat spinach constantly while my assistant plays a whistle (what's the fun of being Pope if you can't goof every once in a decade?). Instead of white smoke from the chimney I would announce my coming with fireworks to add a little pizzazz and pomp and/or circumstance.

My second act as Pope would be to change the hat. Don't get me wrong; it's an amazing cranium decoration; I just don't look good in hats. I found out that after buzzing my head it's very round, like round in a way that's unnatural. Do you remember what the chart for pain at the doctor's office looks like with those circle faces in various degrees of distress? It's a lot like that.

If it MUST be a hat the natural selection would be sombrero (obviously), due to its conical shape that acts as an antenna for the Lord's wishes, however I might pull a fast-one and go stovepipe, bowler or whatever it is water polo players wear (I'll be known as the first "wild card" Pope).

I know I might appear about 50 or 60 years "too young" for the job (I get that a lot), but rest assured I would do enough partying and late-night papacy-type stuff to really wear out my body so it looks the proper age by no later than 2015 2014 if I'm allowed to host late-night Vatican parties (don't worry, no monkey business although, having a monkey sidekick would be pretty cool. You know, kind of sticking it to those sciencey evolutionist nerds).

The only thing I'd have an issue with is the touching. If I'm not mistaken a lot of people want to touch the Pope. In a sense the position is like Justin Bieber, only with slightly less devout fans.

Anyway, just something to think about before the ball really gets rolling here. I'm available to talk at any time. I'll just be over here hanging out in this manger.

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Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications (www.briscoe14.com). He can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com or via Tibetan mountaintop (you must first pass three challenges in order to get to the mountain). Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny for great wisdom.

 
 

 

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